Skip to main content

Mount Vernon Hosts First-Ever Book Discussion and Signing with Four Finalist Authors for the Prestigious George Washington Prize; Upcoming Events Also Include the Colonial Fair, Purple Heart Ceremony, Whiskey Tastings, and the 5K and 10-Miler Patriot Run

There’s never any downtime at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. August and September are jam-packed with a wide variety of events for historians, runners, shoppers, military families, bookworms, and whiskey lovers.

One notable event will feature all the nominees of the George Washington Prize for the first time at a panel discussion and book signing on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. This annual award recognizes the past year’s best works on the nation’s founding era, especially those that can advance a broad public understanding of early American history. This $50,000 annual award, sponsored by George Washington's Mount Vernon, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and Washington College, is one of the nation’s largest and most notable literary awards. Attendance is free, and the event is open to the public. The 2023 George Washington Prize finalists are:

  • Mary Sarah Bilder, Female Genius: Eliza Harriot and George Washington at the Dawn of the Constitution.
  • Fred Kaplan, His Masterly Pen: A Biography of Jefferson the Writer
  • Stacy Schiff, The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams
  • Maurizio Valsania, First Among Men: George Washington and the Myth of American Masculinity

Additional events and activities in August and September are as follows: 

  • Pay tribute to members of the Military Order of the Purple Heart during a commemoration ceremony of the oldest U.S. military decoration at the home of its founder, General Washington. Scheduled for August 5 at 10:30 a.m., admission is free for Purple Heart recipients and discounted for service men and women. Learn more.
  • Meet historian Andrew Wehrman, author of The Contagion of Liberty: The Politics of Smallpox in the American Revolution on August 10 at 7:00 p.m. During this book event, Wehrman will provide insight on this timely account of the public demand for smallpox inoculations during the American Revolution and the origins of vaccination in the U.S. Learn more.
  • Meet the four finalists for the prestigious 2023 George Washington Prize on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. The authors will discuss their important new books related to the founding of America. The event is free; attendees can submit questions and have their books signed. Learn more.
  • Taste Mount Vernon's one-of-a-kind distilled products on Saturdays in September. George Washington’s Whiskey Tasting is an outdoor event featuring samples of three distilled spirits made using 18th-century distilling techniques. Learn more.
  • Watch the 18th-century baking process with Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse. Each loaf is baked in a reproduction clay oven and made of grains authentic to the period that, when possible, were ground at George Washington's Gristmill. Demonstrations are scheduled on select dates, with baked goods available for purchase until sold out. Learn more.
  • Run in the 8th Annual George Washington Patriot 5K and 10 Miler Race on September 10. Race in-person or virtually, and cross the finish line with George Washington's Mansion in view. The Finish Festival will offer each runner music, food and beverage concessions, and a complimentary beer.  All participants will receive a commemorative George Washington Patriot Run t-shirt and a finisher medal engraved with George Washington's bust. Awards will be presented to first place overall, by age division, and for the military/first responder categories. Learn more.
  • Experience the Colonial Market and Fair on September 16 and 17. Step back in time for food and wares by colonial artisans, theatrical entertainment, live music, and demonstrations - all included in the regular price of admission. Learn more.
  • Attend the Luke Adams Glass Art Signing on September 17. Renowned Massachusetts glassblower returns to sign handblown glass pumpkins and other one-of-a-kind pieces. Learn more.
  • Mount Vernon After Hours Exclusively for Members is scheduled for September 24. Members and their guests can explore the expansive grounds after hours, purchase a picnic from the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant, and dine al fresco on the lawn. Members also will receive 20 percent off on all purchases from The Shops at Mount Vernon. Learn more.
  • Home school families are invited to learn about the 18th century by exploring the Farm at Mount Vernon. Ticket discounts are for this September 25 special event. Learn more.
  • George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill is open for the season. This fully functioning reconstruction of George Washington's Distillery and Gristmill is located 2.7 miles from the estate’s main entrance. Tours are offered on weekends through October and are included with a Mount Vernon grounds pass. Learn more.

Read the complete listing of Mount Vernon events here. Most Mount Vernon events are free or discounted for members. Information about Mount Vernon membership is available here

Images related to upcoming events at Mount Vernon are available here and should be attributed to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.


News Filming & Photography

Interested in filming or photographing at Mount Vernon? Check out our guide for professional photographers.

Learn more

News Backgrounders card

Access bulleted facts and background information about the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, George Washington, the Estate, and more.

Learn more